As the date of what would have been Adam Mugridge’s 21st birthday approaches, his family are looking for people’s help to realise their dream of setting up a safe cycle route in his memory.
The Adam’Smile charity, set up by Adam’s parents Kate and David and sister Lucie, is looking for evidence that the old railway line between Lubenham and Harborough has been used as a footpath for years.
They need it to back their bid for the route to be added to the Definitive Map of Public Rights of Way – a legal document recording all footpaths, bridleways and byways.
Their application has been lodged with Leicestershire County Council but they are hoping more people who have usedthe path will come forward to strengthen their argument.
Mrs Mugridge said: “Our application is about getting evidence that the line has been used as a footpath pretty much ever since the old railway line was dismantled.
“We really want to hear from anyone who has walked along that route or who has photos or other evidence about it being used as a footpath.”
More than £100,000 has been donated to the appeal since it was set up after Adam’s death in a road accident while cycling to school in September 2006.
But despite strong public support, some of the landowners whose land the route would cross raised objections and it got bogged down in red tape.
The new approach has come about at the suggestion of the county council.
The charity now has an active Twitter account @AdamSMile1 as well as a new website at www.adamsmile.co.uk.
The Harborough branch of national clothing chain White Stuff in High Street has also adopted Adam’Smile as its charity.
Mr Mugridge said: “We continue to be bowled over by the support we have had from the community and we want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped so far.”
A spokesman for the county council said: “The alleged route is partly in Leicestershire and partly in Northamptonshire.
“Once all the evidence has been compiled and submitted, the authorities will consider the matter.
“If there is sufficient evidence to reasonably allege a path exists, a legal order would be made proposing to add it to the map.
“Any proposal would have to go through a public consultation and it would be open to any party to support or object.
“If valid objections were received, it is likely the matter would be considered at a public enquiry.”
If you can help by providing evidence of the disused line being use as a footpath, email email@example.com.